Homemade Farfalle Pasta ~ ElephantEats.com

Sadly, two weeks ago one of Nate’s closest family friends, Henny Ray Abrams, passed away unexpectedly at the young age of 58. In the years of knowing Nate, I had gotten to know Henny pretty well.

He had, as an adult, learned to cook and had taken to inviting us over to dinner parties in his brooklyn apartment fairly regularly. He always served us a delicious 3 course meal including freshly baked french bread. He and I often talked about cooking, comparing knowledge and recipes. So it was only appropriate that when we got married, Henny’s gift to us was the pasta maker attachment for my kitchenaid mixer. I decided to pull it out this weekend, in honor of Henny, who I know would have been excited to hear that it got put to use.

Because Nate knew Henny much better than me, I thought that I would invite him to take over before I share the pasta recipe, telling us a little more about the man that he came to know so well:

I first want to thank Amy for allowing me to write this post since there is never a good way to deal with a subject like this. Last week a very close, way too young, family friend passed away suddenly.  His name was Henny and he was basically like an uncle to me.

Nate and Ethan with Camerasm

Nate peering into Henny’s Camera….backwards

Henny was a well-known and respected photographer, working in news, sports, entertainment, but mainly he worked in motorcycle racing as a photographer and reporter.  When I got a go-cart for one christmas he supplied our helmets with some of his old motorcycle helmets. To say they looked ridiculous on us would be an understatement, but they did the job.

Christmas is the time of year that I most often associate with Henny, which is odd considering he was Jewish. But, until I was out of college every year we would all gather a couple of weeks before Christmas and do our annual Christmas picture. When we were younger these seemed like interminable exercises, with what seemed like hundreds of pictures being taken. As I aged, I noticed how much quicker the process seemed to take. Yet, this was a family tradition that Henny always took part in and really seemed to enjoy. He never married or had children of his own, so we were probably as close as it was going to get (along with all his other friends kids).

The other christmas tradition we had with Henny was him coming over on Christmas day for dinner. I have a feeling this is going to be the hardest part of all of this to face this coming Christmas. It was the one time of year we would have steak (I know, I never eat it otherwise) and he would always cook it. We started this tradition about 15 years ago, but it seems like it’s the way it’s always been.

Nate Ethan and Tess Couch sm

Henny’s annual family photo of Nate and his younger siblings

I’m more in shock than anything else right now, considering Henny was only 58 years old. There are a lot of things that don’t seem real, like we still have a batch of his amazing chocolate chip cookies in our freezer that he made at Christmas. When we’d go to his dinner parties, he used to always send us home with extra of whatever dessert he had served and so we still have a piece of his tupperware in our apartment that we had intended to return on our next dinner with him at his apartment. I’ll never get to have those things again and I’m not sure I know how to handle that.

I’ll end this post by telling a story that I think encapsulates what kind of guy he was. Henny came down for our wedding in October and was driving back up to NYC right after it ended (which was around 8pm).One of Amy’s bridesmaids, and my friend Kim, needed a ride back up to the city. I didn’t even have to ask, he just offered to take a complete stranger friend of mine back up to Brooklyn. I asked Kim afterwards how the ride back was and she said they talked the whole way back, despite having just met 2 hours prior. He would do anything for us and his other friends. At least I still have the photographs he took of us, but I will miss him.

Nate with Ethan and Tess on couch with soccer ball copysm

I’m so glad Henny gave us this pasta maker for a present. He knew how much I liked to cook and now every time I use it, I’m going to think of him.

Homemade Farfalle Pasta ~ ElephantEats.com

I have to say that making pasta was SO easy. Like, almost so easy that I might make it fresh every time I want it instead of getting pasta from a box. The only issue is the pasta maker attachments that I have can only make large flat sheets (lasagna), fettuccine  and spaghetti. If you want farfalle you make the large flat sheet and then cut and shape it, but it takes more effort. To make any noodles with a hole in them requires another attachment. Unfortunately for me, Nate doesn’t like long noodles, but the next time I make this I’m doing fettuccine because it’s just quicker.

Homemade Farfalle Pasta ~ ElephantEats.com

So many bowties. So many adorable little bowties. Right? If anything, I will make these again for the cuteness. Oh and speaking of cuteness, how cute are Nate and his siblings in those photos :)

Next up I’ll share a recipe I made using this farfalle!

Homemade Farfalle Pasta ~ ElephantEats.com

Homemade Farfalle (Bowtie) Pasta

Recipe from Lesserevillife, technique from various sources 

Print this recipe!

makes 6 oz. pasta– 3 proper (albeit small) servings

1 cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp salt
1 egg
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil


Combine the flour and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Beat the egg in a separate bowl, then add to the medium-sized bowl. Start mixing, then add 1 tablespoon of water. The mixture should be starting to appear doughy. Add 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. The dough should be ready to take out of the bowl and onto a flat surface to roll. If it’s still feeling tough, add an additional 1 tablespoon of water.

Knead the dough with your hands a few times for a uniform texture. Cut dough in half and set one piece to the side. Follow directions below depending on whether or not you have a pasta maker.

With Pasta Maker Attachment:

Pat one of the pieces of dough into a rectangle about 3/8″ thick. Run dough lengthwise through pasta maker on setting 1. Fold dough in half lengthwise and feed back through pasta maker. Continue this folding and feeding back through until dough is smooth and is the width of the pasta maker.

Turn dial to setting 2 and run pasta through. Move to 3 and run through again, then 4 then 5. After running pasta through on setting 5, lay it out on a lightly floured surface. Repeat with other piece of dough.**

Without Pasta Maker:

Shape dough into a ball, then flatten slightly. Use a rolling pin to roll it into a large oval, about ⅛” thick.

**continue here for both:
Using a knife, cut the dough into strips about 1” wide. Take a strip, and use a pie cutter or knife to cut the strip into about 1 ½” rectangles. The ridges of the pie cutter will give the pasta ends the traditional farfalle zig-zag, but a plain old knife works fine

With the rectangle’s long side facing you, put your pointer finger of one hand in the center of the rectangle. Using your other hand, pinch the middle sides of the long edges of dough together, towards the center and your finger. Release your finger from center of dough as you pinch together so the pasta meets the other side. Pinch hard enough for it to stay shaped. *If you’re visual and need a tutorial for the bowtie-forming, visit http://www.pasta-recipes-made-easy.com/farfalle-pasta.html.

Dry dough for an hour. If making immediately, cook pasta in boiling water for 2-3 minutes.

Otherwse, refrigerate or freeze in an air-tight container until ready to cook. Cook for 7ish minutes when ready.



  1. What a great tribute to a true friend…my condolences to you both on the loss of someone with such a positive influence on both your lives. May Henry RIP.

  2. Oh Amy…it sounds like Henny was a real treasure. I’m so sorry about your loss. It’s a little difficult to read something like this (emotionally) so I can’t imagine how hard it must be to have to pen these thought down about your good friend. Your husband did it beautifully. I can really visualize what a nice and easygoing guy Henny was…

  3. He sounds like an amazing man. That’s wonderful that you got to know him, too, Amy. Thank you to Nate for sharing a little bit of Henny with us. And thank you to Amy for making me hungry at 9 AM yet again. :)

  4. SO CUTE! (the pasta and the photos) – What a great way to honor someone’s memory :)

    • Thanks, Natalie :) Oh my gosh, right? Both so cute! Makes me totally want babies now because I bet they’re gonna be adorable.

  5. That’s very sad and I’m so sorry for your loss. 58 Is just too young. I’m glad you have a beautiful gift that will last and last and every time you use it you can remember Henny. And how precious to have all those family photos taken by him. He sounds like a great guy xx

  6. Food is not just something we eat – it’s a form of connection to people we love. An amazing way to honor your late friend. Sharing my condolences.

  7. What a lovely post. Henny sounds like he was perfectly lovely…

  8. I’m so sorry to hear about Henry…it really is so shocking when someone that young dies. I’m thinking about you guys!

    It was so sweet of you guys to make this farfalle in memory of him! I had no idea it was so easy!!

    • Thanks so much, Joanne. I know…when someone is young it’s just so unexpected and scary.

      You should def try making farfalle! It was a bit of effort to shape them, but kind of relaxing and fun at the same time :)

  9. My heart goes out to you and Nate…so sorry to hear about your loss. Henry sounds like he was a wonderful person. How nice of him to give you the pasta maker…now every time you make pasta, it will be a great way to remember him. x

  10. Oh, you two; i’m so sorry for your loss. Amy, how sweet of you to share your space with Nate for this. Nate, it sounds like you have a lifetime of memories with an incredible friend, and what you wrote is a beautiful tribute to that. *hugs to both of you*

    • Thanks so much, Shannon. I’m glad Nate was able to share his feelings here…he certainly has a lot of memories. It’s so nice we have his family photos of his whole life taken by Henny to look back at.

  11. I love making pasta, and I do it every chance I get – and I don’t even have a pasta maker. It is just so lovely homemade. But I just have to say – – “doesn’t like long noodles?” What?? :)

    We too had a wonderful family friend who would spend Christmas Day with us – he always brought fruit, and pâté. He’s gone now and I miss him very much. I hope yours and Nate’s memories of Henny can serve you well in the years to come. And I just have to add that this post reminds me of a Star Trek TNG episode that I watched last night, about a society where everyone ended their lives at age 60, to be remembered well by their family and friends, rather than allowing themselves to become old, decrepit, and helpless. So while you won’t get to see Henny age, at least you have the memory of him at (what I assume to be) a happy and healthy point in his life. xo

    • Really?? I think I took a pasta making class when I was a kid, but I don’t know why I haven’t made it before now as an adult! It’s so fun and easy! I know, the long noodle thing is so weird. He says they’re too hard to eat, so sometimes if I make them I cut them in pieces for him like he’s a little kid, hehe.

      Mmm, fruit and pate. Sounds like your friend made Christmas pretty special. It’s so nice to have memories like that. I like the idea of remembering someone at a perfect age :) Thanks, Emma.

  12. So, last week I lost someone very young and very special to me. So even though I saw this post then, I couldn’t respond until today. I’m actually going to this young man’s funeral in a few hours.

    Thank you for an amazing post. What fabulous memories you both are left with…and some kick-butt pasta.

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  15. I don’t know if you will pick this message up as it is some time since your last post. Nate and Amy I have just dug out Henny’s banana loaf recipe. Henny used to stay with our family when in the UK. My Dad is Dave Watkins from Dunlop. We miss him but talk about him often. The loaf is delicious. Cee x

    • Hi Celeste. Sorry I’m just finding this message now. I never had Henny’s banana loaf before, but if it was anything like the rest of his cooking, I can imagine it must have been delicious. We speak of Henny often too…so many memories. I’m glad to hear you do too :)

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